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PCOS - Metformin


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Hi guys,

I posted about this last week to a degree, on someone else's post. I had a question for anyone who takes Metformin(glucophage) to treat PCOS and/or diabetes. I have been suffering from PCOS for a few years now. I was a pretty healthy size before I had the problem (135, a 5'5''), and the year I got it, I gained 70 lbs. I am not sure how it was possible, but I swear I just exploded, and I would bet like at least 20% of it is in my stomach right below my belly button. I've lost about 25 lbs since the end of last year, but it's been a really slow process. I really feel like I look pregnant. I did try metformin about 1.5 years ago, however I gave up on it very quickly, and I was hardly eating. The reason I stopped was that I was having a lot of stomach problems from it.

I am wondering if you are on it if the side effects do eventually get better. Would it be worth giving it another shot? Also, did it help you lose weight? If so, how much? I am just getting really discouraged because it seems exercising and eating well just isn't cutting it, and I am not losing weight at the pace I wish I was. Any advice/info on this medication would be great.  Thanks, and have a nice weekend :)
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Jessieca,

I have been on Metformin about 6 months now to treat PCOS, I also take spironolactone which is a diuretic. Anyway, my doctor told me that in the begininng I would probably gain weight because my body was used to not regulating the glucose like it should. So basically you had to eat more to get the feeling of not being hungry. Now that your body is processing the sugars the way it should the same amount of food you ate is actually putting more glucose into your system. 

Like you I had a hard time losing weight and I couldn't figure out why. My family doctors kept telling me to eat less and excercize more. I kept telling them it wasn't working. I would work out 6 times a week for an hour a day. I was on every diet imaginable and I still hadn't lost weight. I had heard about insulin resistance and I decided to go to a specialist because I thougt that is what i had. I felt such a relief to be diagnosed because that meant I wasn't crazy for thinking something was wrong.

Sorry didn't mean to make this a book. I would suggest going to an endocrinologist and talking about the way Metformin effects your body. My experience has been that I gained weight in the beginning, but now I have started losing weight. I have lost 10 lbs. in the last four months without changing anything. The only thing I can attribute it to (other than stress;) is the medication. I hope this helps and makes sense to you.
I've been on Metformin for about three months, and not a trouble in the world. As I understand it, the trick is to take it during a meal, so that the food in your stomach helps protect the stomach lining from irritation.

Also, you really do have to regulate your diet when you're on it. Metformin levels out your blood sugar enough that the occasional indescretion is okay, but consuming anything high in fructose is just begging for negative side effects. Remember, there is a lot of hidden HFCS in prepackaged foods. Give it a try, but follow the instructions carefully and discuss problems with your doctor.

For the record, my blood sugar levels have stabilized, and I've lost ten pounds so far.
Yes, if you keep up with your meds, the side effects do tend to lessen over time. I have PCOS and have been on and off Met for the last 5 years (three pregnancies during this time, and I went off it after the first trimester each time.) After the last pregnancy, I went on Metformin ER, which is extended-release. The side effects were much, much less...if you are having issues with the regular Met, talk to your doc about the extended release. I can't recommend it highly enough!
The extended release metformin (I am on 1000/mg a day) is much, much better as far as side effects go.  Just make sure to take it with a meal and you should be fine.

I get a little bit of muscle pain and gas, but both are pretty minor, and I think once I've been on it for a year or two, I won't feel those side effects at all.

As far as weight loss, I can only assume it's helping.  In the past 5 1/2 months I've lost 44 pounds.  :)
Thank you so much for all the encouraging responses. I am going to discuss it with my doctor when I go in on Thursday. 
Hi, I am new to this forum but I am not new to PCOS.  I have had PCOS since I was about 12 and I am now 37 trying to conceive my second child.  I conceived my first with help of 150 mg/clomid and got preg on my second cycle.  I delivered at 27 weeks and now have a wonderful 12 year old boy (some med problems).  Anyway, I am happily remarried and have been ttc for a while and started metformin about 2 months ago.  I was sick everytime I ate.  Stomach ache, nausea, extreme diarhea.  My doc switched me to the name brand glucophage and I am happy with the results.  Don't give up on the metformin/glucophage.  It will help PCOS.  I can happily eat without getting sick and am now on clomid and glucophage hoping for a successful preg!  Good Luck!

I was diagnosed with pcos about a month ago, and I just started metformin two weeks ago and the GI disturbances are starting to go away. I did loose 5lbs the first weeks though. I have not weighed myself since then but I feel smaller. I gain 40lbs in less than a year and like many other women the doctors told me to exercise and eat healthy, which didn't work. Back to Metformin, it helps to slowly increase the medicine to the desired dose, that way your body will be use to it.

Hi. I just read your responses and I'm almost relieved it's not just me. I was only recently diagnosed with PCOS, even though I've had symptoms for 5 years now. I was on bcp for almost 10 years and had ovarian cysts rupture quite often, the first landed me in surgery it was so large! Then about 3 years ago, I suddenly gained 60 lbs! I was walking over 1.5 miles daily. My diet was really good back then as well. I started getting severely depressed, especially when I looked in the mirror. I just figured I was getting older.

I went to multiple doctors that said I needed to exercise more and eat less. One even told me to stop being such a fat pig and just lose weight! They ran blood tests and my thyroid was normal, but my cholesterol had gone through the roof! I only eat meat maybe once a week and I rarely ate out. I gave up.

Last year, my husband and I decided we wanted to start having children, so I stopped my bc. I told my CNM about my past medical history and she said I might have PCOS. I've only had two periods since August, both of them forced. I'm now on Metformin, but not losing weight, even though I'm walking 1.5 miles a day and lifting weights 3 times a week again, and watching what I eat.

I was wondering, how long did it take you to get pregnant while on the Metformin, or did you have to take Clomid to get pregnant? Thanks!! Smile

#9  
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Hi!

I'm 19 years old and i was diagnosed with PCOS when i was 9 (before i even started my period.  I was one of the youngest cases... gotta love my mom for doing her internet research about my systems. The dr.'s didnt even believe her until they tested my hormone levels and performed an ultrasound on my ovaries).  I am currently on metformin (have been for now 3 weeks) and i would like to share with you my particular effects and explain to you what my gyno elxplained to me.I was always extremely skinny and was put on the bcp when i was 12.  This seemed to help until i gained 30 pounds when i was 13 (we thought it was b/c of the bcp but my gyno clarified that bcp does not contribue to weight gain and that she said it was b/c of the pcos and puberty).  Following then i switched bcp and was put on yasmin and that is what i still am currently on.  Even though i am extremely active (4-6 miles 5-6 times a week, plus weights/spin class... i played soccer for most of my life as well), i have struggled with my weight, my skinniest being 116 and my heaviest being 140 (i am very muscular but i am still only 5ft tall so it was quite a lot on my frame).  I seemed to have to starve myself and run 7 miles everyday to lose 5 pounds, which i could gain pack in the same week. 

this is when i went to my new gyno a month ago.  i was 140 lbs and extremely depressesd about my weight struggle.  (i had broken my wrist three months before, and had attributed my weight gain to this fact... surgery and loss of my normal activity)  My gyno then prescribed me on metformin even though my insulin levels are at perfect levels.  She said my hormones and eveyrthing else was being regulated perfectly by the bcp, but i mght be experiencing trouble with fat storage so hence the metformin.

she started me off on the lowest dosage (500 once a day and then to> 500 twice a day) b/c of the stomach cramps , which i did have, but eventually they went away.  This is my third week of metformin and my dosage is at 850 (2x a day) and i take it with meals.  I have lost 5lbs only, but my body size has shrunk (i attribute muscle gain, fat loss to this minor weight loss).  I o have stomach problems when i eat fatty or sugary foods, but im suppose to stay away from those anyway! Metformin is also helping my cramps that are usaully really painful during my periods also.

hopefully this was helpful!

I was recently put on Metformin and I take it after I eat to prevent stomach upset but I've been having heart burn or indigestion feelings 30ish mins later after taking it and I was wondering if it was the medication and I think now after reading, it is. I won't come off it though, I've been on meds with terrible side effects and after awhile they all went away.

After 1 week of Metformin I'll be taking it twice a day from then on (500mg a tablet).

I am also on spironolactone mainly for the controlling of male pattern hair growth, but I was told it will help with my acne too! Yay! I take 200mg a day.

I just started last week so I can't say if its helping or hurting (other than the heart burn... I got it right now! ><), but I'm hoping it's better than the other methods I've tried.

#11  
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I have just started taking Metformin for PCOS.  I take 500 mg once a day, but I am feeling like I am gaining weight and I am not sure why.  How long did it take before you started noticing a change in your weight?

I am back on Met now for about 6 weeks. I increased my dosage quickly, since I tolerate it pretty well ( my stomach of course gets upset once in a while), but I was on 2500 dosage for about 2 weeks before scale budged

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2007 and prescribed Metformin in 2008, i put off taking it for a while so i could lose some weight, i lost 32 pounds and last month went back to the doctors to ask to be prescribed Metformin again. My specialist recommended i take 500mg three times daily but my GP said it sounded excessive and instead put me on 500mg twice daily. For the first week the tablets made me feel really sick and i gained at least 6 pounds (as someone above mention i felt the weight gain in the stomach area) so i stopped taking the pills, i'm really worried about gaining weight on these pills especially as it took me so long to lose what i did in the first place, me and my husband are trying for a baby which is the only reason I'm even thinking of carrying on with the Metformin, could any one share their experience with Metformin in terms of trying to conceive? thanks

#14  
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I was 175 lbs when I got pregnant with my son in 1999 and while pregnant I gained 30 lbs I had him and breast fed and lost it all and more.. I was then 170 lbs. I had to have a major surgery and my doctor said I could not get pregnant again so soon so I got on the Depovara he suggested and had the surgery. He told me I would only gain 2-3 lbs. a month I found I was gaining 12-15 lbs. a month but didn’t notice till after my second shot three months after the surgery when I no longer could fit into my pants that I wore when I was pregnant I started to become very depressed and found after 6 months I had gained 90 lbs. IN 6 MONTHS!! I was devastated I went to another doctor who pretty much said I needed to stop eating as much and to exercise. I didn’t eat all that much in the first place my husband could put away his plate and half mine and I still gained the weight!! I found I lost my menstrual cycle and started growing hair on my neck, chin, chest, and the back of my arms, and scared I might have lost all chances of having any more children; I felt like a fat hairy whatever I looked into having the gastric bypass or the lap band but another surgery scared me even more then ever. I started to see another doctor about all my issues he said I had PCOS and to start taking this drug metformin. I started to take this drug and found myself visiting the bathroom all the time!! I was sick I couldn’t leave the house. I hurried back to the doctor and started on a lower dose and I have been taking it as much as I feel comfortable with. It’s been about 5 months and I have been taking it very slow but have lost 30 lbs. I am proud to say I am now 230 but would like to lose a lot more. I have been also going to the gym 2-3 times a week and a few times a month to tan I hear it helps make you look smaller. Have not prevented and have tried for the past 8 years to have another child and have had no luck. Its been a rought 10 years...

#15  
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I was diagnosed with PCOS a year ago.  I've struggled with my weight all of my life, at my heaviest being 16st (i'm 5ft 3!!!).  It took me 6 years to loose 6 stones on my own, with maintaining a strict diet on 1200 kcals a day, and spending 10 hours a week at the gym - personally I think this is ridulous to keep up for 6 years when you are effectively loosing only 1 lb per month!.

About 2 years ago I started to put the weight back on for no reason, my diet remained the same and I still exercised.  I am now 12 stones again.

A friend a work had a similar problem and recommended that I go and see her endocrynologist as my GP was at a loss how to help me.  She had also always struggled with her weight but after being perscribed metformin and thyroxine managed to loose 4 stones in the space of 6 months.

After running a battery of tests PCOS was confirmed and also Hypothyroidism (where my NHS docs had insisted I had no thyroid problems!).

I was put on Metformin 3 weeks ago and had a violently bad reaction, severe nausea to the point that I could not face eating a single thing, and vomiting.  This continued for a week (although I lost 5.5lbs through it!).  I stopped taking it as I was not sure if it was reacting to painkillers I was perscribed.  I gradually started taking it again a week ago, slowly increasing the dose and being very careful to take it with a full stomach.  The side effects have almost gone now, except if I eat anything sugary (a weight watchers carrot cake slice had too much sugar in!), at which point I pretty much instantly feel sick.

I think it's worth sticking with though, as I have seen the miracle it has worked on my friend, and also once I resumed eating again I did not put the 5.5lb back on from when I was ill, which is very uncharacteristic for me!

OMG!!!...I cant tell u guys how much of a relief this is to find this forum full of women who r all going thru the same things as I am.  I recently have just given birth 2 my second daughter 2 months ago and I too was diagnosed with pcos back in 2005 when I was trying to get pregnant with my first.  I had all the symptoms like u guys.  I had the nonexistent period, darkening of the armpits, a little hair growth under my chin and I now see some on my breast.  I also had been dealing with the embarrassment of not feeling fresh, like it would be on my mind all the time. I'm still self conscious now to the point where I don't use the bathroom out in public b/c I am embarrassed of any body going in after me in fear of them smelling  my odor.  I feel I have a strong testosterone musty smell and its worse when I sweat.  Anyway my aunt told me about glucophage/metformin b/c shes a diabetic and takes it too and shes lost a lot of weight.  So at my 6weeks checkup I asked to be put on it.  right now I'm taking the 500mg once a day for almost a month now.  The first 2 days I lost like 4 pounds n that's it.  Ive started working out at the gym now for a week at least an hour a day 5 days out of the week.  I'm just really anxious to lose weight b/c I know all the things I worry about will be possibly fixed including my ph balance, b/c lets face it, its just not normal to think about how u smell all day everyday. :-)  I have to say that i have been fortunate enough not to have experienced any discomforts but i have experienced the occasional loose stool maybe 5 times n the month that I've been taking it, but just like many of u I am ready to see some weight loss results.

Hey everyone,

I have had PCOS for around two years (I am now 17) and I have no complications but an irregular period which I finally got under control with 50 mg of birthcontrol. My PCP wants to try metformin though im not struggling with obesity or excessive hair growth.

What's the difference between birth control and Metformin, pertaining to controlling and regulation PCOS?

Hey, so as for what metformin is, this link goes over some of the details!  it answers many of the questions raised here and rather than repeat it why not just share the link? =p


http://healthlifeandstuff.com/2009/09/metform in-effects-benefits-and-problems/

hi 

Tell your doctor to switch to hypondidd , which is the herbal equivalent to metformin but without the ugly side effects.

I was diagnosed with PCOS almost 2 years ago and took various medications to try to ease the problem, but to no avail. After one year, my doctor decided to put me on metformin, but i really suffered from the side effects, and I didnt do well on it. 

So, after 2 months, my doctor told me to switch to hypondidd, which went REALLY well with me - no side effects at ALL-. and After 6 months of use, my condition became much less and now i`m getting my periods on a semi regular basis 

 

This is just an aside, but if I forget to take my metformin or get off my schedule I get awful leg cramps when I run or roller skate.  When I take it I have NO problems.  So it is DEFINITELY helping me to exercise more than I was previously accustomed to.  I have had PCOS since I was 12, but was not diagnosed until 26 (and then self diagnosed after requesting that my Dr. perform a hormone panel and send the results to my house.  The Dr. concurred).   

I do not have side effects as long as I take it regularly.  If I forget for a day or two they do come back.    You do have to take it with a meal- preferably a good sized meal. 

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